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Synaptics' tablet prototype with rear touchpad can tell which hand you're using to hold it

via cdn1.sbnation.com

Much of what we've seen at Synaptics so far has been based on responding to manufacturers' increasingly thin designs, a laudable project that's nonetheless at a pretty early stage. The Sensa tablet, an Android-based reference design that the company tells us was taken from its development labs only a few days before CES, is meant to compensate for increasingly thin tablet bezels like those on the iPad mini with an advanced kind of thumb rejection. The design puts a large touchpad on the back of the tablet, allowing it to detect individual fingers when you hold it. From there, it can extrapolate where a thumb would logically go on the front of the tablet and reject touch in the area around it.

While obviously a prototype, and a buggy one at that, the system was pretty good at detecting my thumb's natural position. The results were mostly predictable — and not, it seemed, all that different from Apple's own iPad mini thumb rejection — but Synaptics also wants developers to write support for the system into their apps, which could result in some interesting interface changes. In the simple e-reader concept we were shown, for example, the app could automatically reflow around your thumb. If edge-to-edge designs like those we're currently seeing on phones start coming to larger form factors, Synaptics could be right on time with a finished technology — so long as nobody wants to put a case on their tablet.

The Verge
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